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tv   [untitled]    April 18, 2012 1:30pm-2:00pm PDT

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wants to go? everyone who has donated to it could use it, host it, share it. >> for quite a great deal of team she was hired in 2005, she struggled with finding the correct and appropriate visual expression. >> it was a bench at one point. it was a darkened room at another point. but the theme always was a theme of how do we call people's attention to the issue of speci species extinction. >> many exhibits do make long detailed explanations about species decline and biology of birds and that is very useful for lots of purposes. but i think it is also important to try to pull at the strings inside people. >> missing is not just about specific extinct or endangered species. it is about absence and a more fundamental level of not knowing
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what we are losing and we need to link species loss to habitat loss and really focuses much on the habitat. >> of course the overall mission of the academy has to do with two really fundamental and important questions. one of which is the nature of life. how did we get here? the second is the challenge of sustainability. if we are here how are we going to find a way to stay? these questions resonated very strongly with maya. >> on average a species disappears every 20 minutes. this is the only media work that i have done. i might never do another one because i'm not a media artist per se but i have used the medium because it seemed to be the one that could allow me to convey the sounds and images here. memorials to me are different
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from artworks. they are artistic, but memorials have a function. >> it is a beautiful scupltural objective made with bronze and lined with red wood from water tanks in clear lake. that is the scupltural form that gives expression to maya's project. if you think about a cone or a bull horn, they are used to get the attention of the crowd, often to communicate an important message. this project has a very important message and it is about our earth and what we are losing and what we are missing and what we don't even know is gone. >> so, what is missing is starting with an idea of loss, but in a funny way the shape of this cone is, whether you want to call it like the r.c.a. victor dog, it is listen to the
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earth and what if we could create a portal that could look at the past, the present and the future? >> you can change what is then missing by changing the software, by changing what is projected and missing. so, missing isn't a static installation. it is an installation that is going to grow and change over time. and she has worked to bring all of this information together from laboratory after laboratory including, fortunately, our great fwroup of researche e-- g researchers at the california academy. >> this couldn't have been more site specific to this place and we think just visually in terms of its scupltural form it really holds its own against the architectural largest and grandeur of the building. it is an unusual compelling object. we think it will draw people out on the terrace, they will see the big cone and say what is that. then as they approach the cone
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tell hear these very unusual sounds that were obtained from the cornell orinthology lab. >> we have the largest recording of birds, mammals, frogs and insects and a huge library of videos. so this is an absolutely perfect opportunity for us to team up with a world renown, very creative inspirational artist and put the sounds and sights of the animals that we study into a brand-new context, a context that really allows people to appreciate an esthetic way of the idea that we might live in the world without these sounds or sites. >> in the scientific realm it is shifting baselines. we get used to less and less, diminished expectations of what it was. >> when i came along lobsters six feet long and oysters 12
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inches within they days all the oyster beds in new york, manhattan, the harbor would clean the water. so, just getting people to wake up to what was just literally there 200 years ago, 150 years ago. you see the object and say what is that. you come out and hear these intriguing sounds, sounds like i have never heard in my life. and then you step closer and you almost have a very intimate experience. >> we could link to different institutions around the globe, maybe one per continent, maybe two or three in this country, then once they are all networked, they begin to communicate with one another and share information. in 2010 the website will launch, but it will be what you would call an informational website and then we are going to try to, by 2011, invite people to add a memory. so in a funny way the member rely grows and there is something organic about how this
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memorial begins to have legs so to speak. so we don't know quite where it will go but i promise to keep on it 10 years. my goal is to raise awareness and then either protect forests from being cut down or reforest in ways that promote biodiversity. >> biodiverse city often argued to be important for the world's human populations because all of the medicinal plants and uses that we can put to it and fiber that it gives us and food that it gives us. while these are vital and important and worth literally hundreds of billions of dollars, the part that we also have to be able to communicate is the more spiritual sense of how important it is that we get to live side by side with all of these forms that have three billion years of history behind them and how tragic it would be not
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commercially and not in a utilitarian way but an emotio l emotional, psychological, spiritual way if we watch them one by one disappear. >> this is sort of a merger between art and science and advocacy in a funny way getting people to wake unand realize what is going on -- wake up and realize what is going on. so it is a memborial trying to get us to interpret history and look to the past. they have always been about lacking at the past so we proceed forward and maybe don't commit the same mistakes.
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>> you probably think you know all about the exploratorium.
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but have you ever been after dark? did you know there was a monthly party called after dark? science mixes with culture and adults mix with other adults. no kids allowed. every week there is a different theme. to tell us about the themes is melissa alexander. tell us about some of the previous themes we have had. >> we have had sex ploration, sugar, red, blue. many things. >> what is the theme tonight? >> rock, paper, scissors. we are having a tournament tonight, but we have also used as a jumping off point to explore lots of different ideas. you can find out about rock, paper, scissors as a game as a reproductive strategy.
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you can interact with a piece of art created by lucky dragon. you can get your hair cut from a cool place called the public barber's salon. they use scissors only. you can find out about local geology, too. >> that sounds like fun. let's check it out. >> this is the most common rock on the surface of the earth. interesting thing is, most of this rock is covered over by the ocean. >> error congested a cool presentation on plate tectonics. tell us about what we just saw. >> we wrapped up a section of a lesson on a plate tectonics, here at the exploratory and -- exploritorium. >> are you excited to see people here having fun and learning
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about science? >> the people that come here are some selected to begin with, they actually enjoy science. i teach teachers to have fun with their kids. the general public is a great audience, too. they're interested in science. >> we have a blast every time. they have different names. >> they have a bar and a cafe. everything i need. we are excited for the speaker. >> it is nice to be in the exploratorium when there are not a lot of kids around. >> before tonight, i never knew there were major league rules to rock, paper, scissors. i am getting ready to enter into a competition. sarah's here to give me some tips. what do i need to do to win it? >> this is a game of chance, to a degree. one of the best ways to bring it home is a degree of intimidation, maybe some eye
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contact, maybe some muscle. it is a no contact sport. sheer i contact is a good way to maybe intimidate to see if you can set them off, see if they throw something they did not mean to. >> i am going to see what happens. >> i got kicked out in the first round. [applause] >> given up for sunni. the rock, paper, scissors champion. >> what are you going to do now? >> i have been having so much fun. i got my tattoo. before we go, i want to thank melissa alexander for having us here tonight. how did you know san francisco needed a night like tonight? >> thank you for coming. everybody loves the exploratorium.
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we are reluctant to push the kids out of the way in the day, so i knew we needed to create one evening a month just for the rest of us to have a good time, the adults. >> absolutely. where can we find out what is coming up after dark? >> that is easy, exploratorium .edu/afterdark. >> thank you. thanks for watching

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